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Old 02-21-2012, 02:08 PM   #1
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Lombardy: Green Asparagus Risotto

One of the most important crops of the Po Valley Plains is short grain rice. In Lombardy, in northwestern Italia, the classic Risotto alla Milanese is one of the most famous dishes, however, with spring in the air ... Fresh green stalks of asparagus are the next most important crop.

Risotto agli Asparagi

For 4:

1 1/4 pounds asaparagus green stalks with spears
asparagus stock or chicken stock
2 tblps extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups Arborio or short grain Italian Milanese rice
1/4 cup freshly grated Pecorino ewe milk cheese - fiore sardo
1/4 cup shaved Reggiano Parmesano cow variety cheese
1/4 stick butter of choice

1) bring 5 cups salted water to boil in large sauce pan
2) add asparagus and cook until crisp tender -3 to 4 mins.
3) using tongs, take the stalks out of the sauce pan & place in bowl of ice water
4) drain
5) slice the tips off and reserve and then cut stalks into 1/4 inch rounds
6) heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat
7) add onion and sauté until translucent about 4 to 5 mins
8) then add rice and stir for 2 minutes
9) add 3/4 cup of the boiled asparagus stock and simmer until the liquid is absorbed and thjen, add the rounds of asparagus
10) Now, add another 3/4 cup asaparagus stock and stir often
11) cook rice until tender and risotto is creamy, adding asparagus stock 3/4 cup at a time stirring often and permitting each addition ( 3 times ) to be absorbed before adding the next cup of stock
12) mix the reserved tips with the grated cheese and butter into the rice
13) season to taste with salt and blk pepper
14) top with shaved cheese

written by: Margi Cintrano

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Old 02-21-2012, 02:26 PM   #2
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A note to the Fennel Fans

This risotto works wonderfully well with fennel too ... just do same with the fennel stock.

Margi.
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Old 02-21-2012, 07:22 PM   #3
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I love the recipes you share Margi. I almost made it to spain 10 years ago but we had a daughter instead. We may be ready in another 10 when we can take both rugrats with us. My aunt and uncle who we were going to go with wound up both sick on the trip and my aunt had her jewelry stolen from her baggage at the airport.

We have to go to make it right.
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Old 02-21-2012, 07:56 PM   #4
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I love aparagus. But the first stalks of the season. They are the ones with the thick stalk and big heads. So much more flavor. Hard to find in these parts.
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Old 02-21-2012, 09:13 PM   #5
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I actually prefer the the thinner ones. The thinner the better. We have the thick ones right now so we are eating them but they just seem too juicy to me. I guess it is personal preference.
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Old 02-22-2012, 05:54 AM   #6
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Asparagus Varieties

I love asparagus ... green thick, green thin, the wild & long green and the Navarran, Iberian Peninsula & the Lombardia, Italian White & Lavendar colored thick thick stalks ... All are wonderful, in a different way ...

The thinner varieties are actually better for risotto; however the thick species are fab either sauteéd in olive oil with garlic or broiled in oven with lemon, olive oil, garlic & herbs or seared on flame BBQ.

For the risotto, I had been able to purchase the wild, long thin, green species from the province of Extremadura, Spain which has a micro climate, sort of a sub tropical zone ...

The risotto was lovely ... Had not made it recently ...

Thanks for all the lovely notes and the feedback.

Margi.
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Old 02-22-2012, 06:03 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Margi Cintrano View Post
I love asparagus ... green thick, green thin, the wild & long green and the Navarran, Iberian Peninsula & the Lombardia, Italian White & Lavendar colored thick thick stalks ... All are wonderful, in a different way ...

The thinner varieties are actually better for risotto; however the thick species are fab either sauteéd in olive oil with garlic or broiled in oven with lemon, olive oil, garlic & herbs or seared on flame BBQ.

For the risotto, I had been able to purchase the wild, long thin, green species from the province of Extremadura, Spain which has a micro climate, sort of a sub tropical zone ...

The risotto was lovely ... Had not made it recently ...

Thanks for all the lovely notes and the feedback.

Margi.
You are welcome.

The thick ones when cooked until soft and then pureed make for a very flavorful cream of asparagus soup. One of my favorites. I add cream or half and half with a dash of Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Toss some toasted croutons on top for added pleasure.
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Old 02-22-2012, 06:32 AM   #8
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What a beautiful risotto recipe, Margi.
Today in Lombardia the sun is out and spring is coming soon! I'll follow your guidelines to prepare a perfect risotto con gli asparagi as soon as possible. It's a dish I never tried; I usually go for mushrooms, or saffron, or sausage and red wine, or just butter and Parmigiano. This will be a nice and tasty change.

Thanks again
Luca
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Old 02-22-2012, 07:44 AM   #9
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@ Luca: One Million and One Risottos

@ Luca,

Grazie ... for your feedback on the subject of Risottos. As you know, there are un-countable risotto recipes, and each family and each trattoria has their personal view ... and each season dictates, another ingredient. I too love wild mushrooms ... I have made shellfish risotto with lemon as well. A simple one with just reggiano parmesano or Fiore Sardo pecorino or sausage, or radicchio are wonderful too ... With the hint of spring coming, asparagus lightens up the dish a bit ! I enjoy risotto ... however, my weakness is Pasta ...

Kindest,
Margi.
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Old 02-22-2012, 10:32 AM   #10
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Well, guess I'll be making that next week. Asparagus is right now cheap and plentiful.
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